Monthly archives: October 2007
I'm telling you for the last time
I may have to implement a Weismanesque "Thank You for Not ..." list.
But it would just have one entry.
Thank you for not...
1) Calling the baseball team in Japan the "Ham Fighters"
They are the Nippon Ham ... Fighters.
For photographic proof check after the jump:
Cameron draws 25-game suspension
Mike Cameron of the Padres was suspended for the first 25 games of the 2008 season for failing a test for banned stimulants.
Cameron is planning to file for free agency.
Dragons one win away from first Japan Series win since 1954
The Chunichi Dragons won for the third time in the Japan Series, beating the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4-2 at the Nagoya Dome.
Yoshihiro Suzuki picked up the win in relief for Chunichi. Mistuo Yoshikawa, a 19-year old, took the loss for the Fighters.
Nippon Ham manager Trey Hillman is just one loss away from getting the chance to start shopping for homes in Kansas City. Game 5 is Thursday night in Nagoya.
Things I've realized today
Schedule your award decision arguments
All the awards will be announced at 11 am PST at baseballwriters.org.
Dragons rout Fighters in Game 3 of Japan Series
Baseball presses on in Japan and the Chunichi Dragons have a taken a 2-1 lead in the Japan Series over the Nippon Ham Fighters with a 9-1 win at home in the Nagoya Dome.
Chunichi scored seven runs in the first inning and coasted the rest of the way.
Yes, you can be a bigger geek than me
The Dewey Blog, which is not about Dwight Evans, discusses baseball as it fits in to the Dewey Decimal Classification system.
My work life and my home life clash! And it's not all that much fun.
The scary part is that much of it makes sense to me.
A-Rod opts out
In a rather terse AP report, Scott Boras has said that Alex Rodriguez will opt of his deal with the Yankees and become a free agent.
Link suggested by ... a lot of people.
We return you to regularly scheduled programming.
Chunichi ties up Japan Series with rout of Fighters
The Chunichi Dragons evened the Japan Series at one win apiece with an 8-1 victory over the Nippon Ham Fighters at the Sapporo Dome.
The Fighters had just four hits and have only six in the first two games. Fernando Seguignol homered for Nippon Ham's only run. Byung Kyu Lee and Masahiko Morino hit two-run homers for the Dragons.
The series resumes Tuesday in Nagoya. Games 3, 4, and 5 will be played in the Central League champions park.
Joe Posnanski's view on the series so far.
Perhaps not the AP's best headline
This story from the AP about the World Series showed up with this headline:
Red Sox see World Series lead cut to 1 game in thin Rocky Mountain air
Darvish Ks 13 to give Fighters 1-0 lead in Japan Series
Nippon Ham southpaw Yu Darvish struck out 13 Chunichi Dragons hitters as his team took a 1-0 lead in Japan Series with a 3-1 win at the Sapporo Dome.
All of Nippon Ham's runs came on a 3-run homer by designated hitter Fernando Seguignol in the first inning off of loser Kenshin Kawakami.
Game 2 will be Sunday night in Sapporo.
An English language boxscore reveals the Fighters meager, yet sufficient offensive attack.
Posnanski on O'Neil
Joe Posnanski blogs from Sapporo after finding out about Buck O'Neil being honored with a statue and award at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Here is the article from the Hall of Fame site written by Barry Bloom of MLB.com.
Why worry about ratings when there's $6 billion coming in?
MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy has announced that Major League Baseball should finish the 2007 year with about $6 billion in revenue. This is almost the same total as the NFL took in during 2006, according to a report by Chris Isidore on CNNMoney.com.
DuPuy pointed to increases in revenue from MLB.com as well as the growth of the online ticket resale market as major contributors to baseball's financial health.
So with the free agent season coming up after the World Series ends, don't be surprised to see players receiving salaries that will make your head spin.
On two axes.
As I thought, it's all Dan Shaughnessy's fault
Over at Baseball Analysts, Mark Armour has written a great piece about how the perception of Red Sox fans have changed over time.
Armour looks at how the image of the tortured Red Sox fan was etched in people's minds by Dan Shaughnessy's book The Curse of the Bambino. Armour also has issues with Glenn Stout and Richard Johnson's Red Sox Century which pins most of the Red Sox failures in the 20th Century on the team's racism.
I've written about fans of other teams here before and it usually comes out offending someone, which is not my conscious intent.
We love to stereotype fans of other and ascribe them qualities that we think they should have because they are rooting for the wrong team. So, they have to be bad people. I know I certainly do it. And I can't say it's an admirable trait.
Perhaps next year, I'll try to be overly defensive Dodgers fan who gets upset when people tell me that all the fans here leave too early. Or that I'll stop picking on the people of St. Louis or San Francisco or San Diego. However, if you were a fan of the Wilmington Quicksteps, you're still fair game.
Waiting and hoping and wishing
Much has been made of the Rockies eight day layoff before the World Series. This article considers it unprecedented:
That would be true if the 1910 season never existed. That year, AL Champion Philadelphia finished up its regular season on October 6 with a loss to the Yankees, 3-1. But the National League season kept going. And going. The pennant-winning Cubs played their last game on October 15 with a 4-1 win against St. Louis.
The World Series got underway on October 17, a layoff of 10 days for the Athletics. A layoff that didn't bother them too much as they waxed the Cubs in five games for the franchise's first World Series title.
In 1911, the Athletics finished their season on October 6 and the World Series didn't start until October 14, a layoff of seven days. The Athletics won that series too. That six game series, because of rainouts, did not conclude until October 26.
Ahh, pandering to the voters, there's nothing like it
Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, who some of you might remember as the former mayor of New York (you mean you didn't know that?), has declared that he is rooting for the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. So says this New York Post report.
No word yet if former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is rooting for the Red Sox or perhaps will decide to root for the Rockies to just be contrary.
Senator Hillary Clinton HAS NOT said that while growing up in Chicago she often dreamed of a World Series involving the Colorado Rockies.
Apparently people are going to watch the World Series
According to this story in Variety, ratings for the ALCS, especially Game 7, were strong for Fox and the network is hoping for good numbers for the World Series.
Tonight, Fox will show an episode of "House" and I'm sure it will be loaded with promos for the World Series. Perhaps something along the lines of John Farrell yelling at Terry Francona, "You're risking a pitcher's arm!" over and over and over and over and over.
Your umpires Wednesday ...
And for 3-6 more games after that in the World Series will be:
Baseball used just two umpires per game in the World Series from 1903 through the first three games of the 1909 World Series. Then after a disputed foul ball call in Game 2 of the 1909 World Series, two more umpires were added for Game 4 (they were already on hand as standbys), but they were placed on the foul lines. The six-man crew for the World Series became standard in 1947.
For your free agent shopping pleasure
Although the linked story does not list all the players, the Commissioners Office in Japan has listed 68 players in NPB as eligible for free agency.
The most notable name on the list is injured Chunichi outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who had elbow surgery this year. Fukudome has not announced if he wishes to cross the pond.
So far, only Hiroshima pitcher Hiroki Kuroda has said that he will try to find work in MLB. Kuroda was 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA last season
Great Moments in the Rockies-Red Sox rivalry
So far the two teams have met just nine times in interleague play:
June 10, 2002 - Red Sox 7, Rockies 3. Derek Lowe beats Denny Neagle. Brian Daubach drives in three runs. This series is at Fenway Park.
June 11, 2002 - Rockies 3, Red Sox 1. Jason Jennings gets the win throwing seven shutout innings. Larry Walker drives in two runs with a double in the eighth to break up a scoreless tie.
June 12, 2002 - Red Sox 7, Rockies 5. Frank Castillo gets the win over Mike Hampton. The Rockies make five errors and the Red Sox commit three.
June 15, 2004 - Rockies 6, Red Sox 3. This is the Red Sox first and so far only series in Denver. The Rockies get homers from Vinny Castilla and Todd Helton to give Joe Kennedy the win over Bronson Arroyo.
June 16, 2004 - Rockies 7, Red Sox 6. The Rockies score 7 runs off of Curt Schilling helped out by errors from Nomar Garciaparra and Johnny Damon. The Red Sox get the tying run to third with two outs in the ninth, but Shawn Chacon retires pinch hitter David McCarty for the save. Jason Jennings gets the win.
June 17, 2004 - Red Sox 11, Rockies 0. Derek Lowe, Scott Williamson, and Lenny DiNardo combine on a 6-hit shutout and the Red Sox beat up on the back end of the Colorado bullpen: Kevin Jarvis and Scott Dohmann.
June 12, 2007 - Red Sox 2, Rockies 1. Back to Fenway for this series and the Red Sox score the winning run in the eighth on a JD Drew sacrifice fly. Tim Wakefield gets the win and Aaron Cook takes the loss.
June 13, 2007 - Rockies 12, Red Sox 2. Schilling is hit hard by the Rockies and gives up six runs and nine hits in five innings. Brad Hawpe hits a 3-run home run.
June 14, 2007 - Rockies 7, Red Sox 1. Jeff Francis throws five shutout innings to pick up the win. Josh Beckett gives up 10 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings for the loss. Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins homer off of Beckett, with Atkins hitting a grand slam.
Past results do not guarantee future returns. Your mileage may vary. Offer void in Manitoba, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the state of Colorado.
Byrd latest player to be implicated in HGH use
In today's San Francisco Chronicle, writers Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada report that Cleveland pitcher Paul Byrd is the target of Federal law enforcement officials after finding evidence that Byrd purchased $24,850 worth of HGH from a Florida clinic.
Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports.com has a response from Byrd where the pitcher insists that he used the HGH under a doctor's care and no longer uses the hormone.
Blowouts forcing an ultimate game
1912 World Series - The New York Giants won Game 7 (there had been a tie in Game 2) over the Red Sox, 11-4. The Red Sox won Game 8, 3-2 in 10 innings.
1926 World Series - The St. Louis Cardinals force a Game 7 against the Yankees with a 10-2 win at Yankee Stadium. The Cardinals win Game 7, 3-2.
1931 World Series - The Philadelphia Athletics win Game 6 in St. Louis 8-1, but they lose in Game 7, 4-2.
1960 World Series - The Yankees win Game 6 in Pittsburgh, 12-0, but lose Game 7 10-9.
1968 World Series - Detroit wins Game 6 at home against the Cardinals 13-1. They also win Game 7, this one by a score of 4-1.
1972 NLCS - Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh at home 7-1 in Game 4. They beat the Pirates in Game 5, 4-3.
1972 World Series - Cincinnati wins Game 6 against Oakland 8-1 at home. Oakland wins Game 7, 3-2.
1982 World Series - St. Louis wins Game 6 at home against the Brewers, 13-1. The Cardinals will win Game 7, 6-3.
1987 World Series - Minnesota beats St. Louis at home 11-5 in Game 6. The Twins win Game 7, 4-2.
1992 NLCS - Pittsburgh wins Game 6 in Atlanta by a 13-2 score. The Braves win Game 7 by a 3-2 margin.
1999 ALDS - Boston beats Cleveland 23-7 in Game 4. Boston wins Game 5 by a 12-8 score.
2001 ALDS - New York beats Oakland in Game 4, 9-2. The series goes back to New York for Game 5 and the Yankees win 5-3.
2001 World Series - Arizona beats the Yankees 15-2 in Game 6. The Diamondbacks win Game 7 3-2.
2007 ALCS - Boston beats Cleveland 12-2 in Game 6. And ???
Remember that past results do not guarantee future performance.
Dragons finish off sweep of Giants to move on to Japan Series
The Chunichi Dragons swept the Yomiuri Giants, 3 games to 0, in the second stage of the Central League playoffs with a 4-2 win at the Tokyo Dome. The Dragons will take on the defending champion Nippon Ham Fighters starting next Saturday.
Tyrone Woods hit a 3-run homer and Kenichi Nakata struck out 11 to lead the Dragons. Hitoki Iwase picked up his fourth save in the Dragons five postseason wins so far.
Nippon Ham won the Japan Series last year over Chunichi in five games.
Posnanski on Hillman
Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski seems pleased with the Royals new manager, Trey Hillman.
The Fighters had the best record in Japan (79-60-5, .568) despite scoring the fewest runs, 526. However, they also gave up the fewest runs, 489, although not the lowest team ERA. (Softbank had a team ERA of 3.18 and gave up 508 runs, Nippon Ham was at 3.22) The Fighters hit just 73 home runs.
By my calculations, the Fighters outperformed the expected wins by 2 wins, although that would assume the team had played no ties and finished 77-67. The Fighters were helped out by a great record in interleague play: 18-5-1.
Nevertheless, the Fighters will likely be heavy favorites in the Japan Series against either the Yomiuri Giants or Chunichi Dragons, two slugging teams.
Just what are you looking at?
Did you know Reuters had a blog? Did you know it had this article about what people look at it when they see a picture of George Brett?
And I now, I can't look away!
Dragons up 2-0 in Central League
The Chunichi Dragons took a 2-0 lead in their second stage playoff series in the Central League with a 7-4 win over the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome. Game 3 will be Saturday.
The Dragons can win one of the next three to move on to the Japan Series to take on the Nippon Ham Fighters. The Fighters manager, Trey Hillman, is reported to be in negotiations with the Kansas City Royals to take over the job there.
The Dragons are aiming for their eighth Central League title and their second straight.
The Fighters are attempting to win back-to-back Japan Series titles, something that has not been done since the Seibu Lions won three straight from 1990-92. The Dragons have never won the Central League in consecutive years and have not won the Japan Series since 1954.
Fighters take Pacific League title for second year in a row
The expected pitching duel in Sapporo between pitchers with sub-2.00 ERAs didn't transpire and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters won the Pacific League again with a 6-2 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at the Sapporo Dome. The Fighters won the series 3 games to 2.
Yoshihisa Naruse of the Marines was 16-1 in the regular season, but he was knocked out after 3 2/3 IP. Yu Darvish of the Fighters went 6 2/3 innings, but had just two strikeouts.
The Fighters will take on the winner of the second stage of the Central League playoffs which started Thursday as well. The Chunichi Dragons defeated the Yomiuri Giants 5-2 at the Tokyo Dome to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series. All the games will be played in Tokyo.
Bill James weighs in on the Diamondbacks and Pythagoras
Phil Birnbaum has a link to an article that Bill James has submitted discussing the peformance of the Arizona Diamondbacks. You should give it a read if you are interested in seeing if anyone can make sense of the 2007 regular season in the National League. James is trying to examine whether or not a team like Arizona is more likely to improve or regress in the following season.
It's definitely worth a look.
While you wait for George Mitchell's report
While you wait for George Mitchell to name names in his investigation, ponder the video above. If you find Itchy and Scratchy a bit too violent, I would suggest going elsewhere.
Marines tie up Pacific League playoff series
The Chiba Lotte Marines tied up Japan's Pacific League playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
Game 5 will be Thursday and should be a matchup of Chiba's Yoshihisa Naruse (16-1, 1.817) versus Nippon Ham's Yu Darvish (15-5, 1.820).
Darvish struck out 210 in 207 2/3 IP and help opposing batters to a .174 average. Naruse had 138 Ks in 173 1/3 IP and held batters to a .211 average.
I was under the impression that the first three games would be in Sapporo and the final two in Chiba, but apparently all five games will be in Sapporo.
Stoneman moving out of GM role in Anaheim: UPDATE
If you weren't watching Game 3 of the ALCS, Ken Rosenthal reported that Angels GM Bill Stoneman will
6-4-2 will have more.
Update: Tony Reagins, as mentioned below and forwarded on by commenter Chyll Will, got the job as GM.
I'm nervous, I've never sat at the adult table
How teams fared in their first trip to the World Series:
Griddle Contest: How many pitches tonight and how many hours will it take?
There's no tangible prize for this except the respect of your peers.
Your mission: Guess the total number of pitches thrown by all four teams in tonight's LCS games and the total time elapsed for both games. If you want to put your guess into total minutes, that would help, but if not, don't worry.
The pitch and time totals will be taken from the MLB.com boxscores.
To keep in the spirit of things, please no strategic "Price is Right" style guessing. If you engage in that, you will not win the respect of your peers. And what is more important than that?
Fighters take 2-1 in Pacific League series
The Nippon Ham Fighters are one win away from moving on to the Japan Series for the second straight year. The Fighters shut out the Chiba Lotte Marines 7-0 at the Sapporo Dome to take a 2-1 lead in the best of five series.
Game 4 will be in Chiba on Tuesday and Game 5, if necessary, will also be in Chiba and is scheduled for Thursday.
The winner of the Pacific League series would not play again until October 27, when the Japan Series is scheduled to start. Game 7 of the Japan Series would be on November 4.
Fighters manager Trey Hillman has announced that he will return to the U.S. after this season and it's possible he could be showing up in an MLB dugout near you next season. Whether or not Hillman wants to come back to the U.S. for the honor of managing the Royals or Pirates is not known.
Extra inning runs by the bushel
Cleveland's 7-run extra inning in Boston was the biggest ever in postseason play, but it wasn't close to the regular season record of 12, which was described in this blog earlier in the year.
During the 2007 regular season, it was Pittsburgh who had the single biggest extra inning, putting up an 8 spot in the 10th inning at Cincinnati and then holding on for a 10-4 win.
Dragons move on in CL, Marines tie series in PL
The Chunichi Dragons moved on to second stage of the Central League playoffs to face the Yomiuri Giants after defeating the Hanshin Tigers 5-1 at the Nagoya Dome. The second stage of the playoffs for the Central League will start Thursday at the Tokyo Dome.
In the Pacific League, the Chiba Lotte Marines tied up its second stage series one game apiece with an 8-1 win at the Sapporo Dome. Game 3 will be at the Sapporo Dome Monday. Games 4 and 5 (if necessary) will be played at Chiba on Tuesday and Thursday.
Japan's playoffs move on to next stage, or just start
The defending champion Nippon Ham Fighters won Game 1 of the Pacific League's second statge of its "Climax Series" with a 5-2 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at the Sapporo Dome. This series will be best of five.
The Central League started its first stage of its first ever "Climax Series" (OK, please stop laughing. You're adults. For the most part) and the Chunichi Dragons shut out the Hanshin Tigers 7-0 at the Nagoya Dome. This series is best of three. The Dragons can move on to face the Yomiuri Giants with a win OR tie against the Tigers Sunday.
Whatever you say Kenny
Jack Curry of the New York Times profiles Cleveland outfielder Kenny Lofton and asks him about the frequently-aired DHL commercial which shows Lofton moving all around the country.
The Colorado Rockies won Game 1 of the NLCS despite not getting any extra base hits. The Rockies had just 8 singles in their 5-1 win at Arizona.
The Rockies did not win a single game in the regular season in which all their hits were singles. Not many teams did. It happened just 42 times. The Rangers, Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Astros all won four times without getting an extra base hit.
Colorado has won just 13 games in franchise history without getting an extra base hit and the last time was September 29, 2006 at Chicago.
The last postseason game where a team won without an extra base hit was the last postseason game of last year, Game 5 of the 2006 World Series.
The Cubs lost Game 1 of the 2003 NLCS to the Marlins despite picking up nine extra base hits.
While you wait for the LCS to start
As the seemingly interminable wait (three days!) with no baseball, you can enjoy (or not), these two videos about the two teams in the LCS, Cleveland and Arizona, that aren't represented by a Toaster blog. Bad Altitude will be your home for the NLCS and Cardboard Gods will be the place to be for the ALCS.
Schuerholz moves upstairs with Braves, Wren is new GM
John Schuerholz, general manager of the Atlanta Braves since 1991, is giving up his general manager job to assistant GM Frank Wren, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Manager Bobby Cox is expected to return for another season.
The Braves will be holding a press conference later today.
Item picked up from Dodger Thoughts commenter Don Tordilla.
My TV must be broken
Here it is, I'm home from work. It's 6:30 pm on the West Coast. I want to find a baseball game to watch. There isn't one. I know there will be one tomorrow. But I want one now!
Well, there's always Navy versus Pittsburgh from Heinz Field. I don't think this will satisfy my baseball withdrawal symptoms.
There are a maximum of 21 games left. And I doubt that there will be that many. The most games there have been in the LCS and WS combined have been 20 and that has happened three times (1985, 1986, and 2003).
MLB conspiracy to help Rockies make the World Series?
MLB named its umpiring crews for the two LCS.
The crew chief for the NLCS will be (insert dramatic pause):
The other five umpires will Mark Wegner, Larry Vanover, Tom Hallion, Angel Hernandez (aka the Umpiest Ump Who Ever Umped), and Jim Joyce.
The ALCS crew chief will be Randy Marsh. He will be joined by Kerwin Danley, Brian Gorman, Paul Emmel, Gary Cederstrom, and Dana DeMuth.
Chiba moves on to next round in PL playoffs
The Chiba Lotte Marines won their first round playoff series against the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks with a 4-0 win at home (I had earlier said the game would be in Fukuoka) which was my error.
Here is the boxscore. There was a 3-run triple by Saburo Ohmura in the sixth for the decisive hit.
Trust me on this. I'm mostly right. English language story.
The Marines play Nippon Ham starting Saturday in a best of five to decide the Pacific League champion.
Canada decides that hockey wins out over Chip Caray
And shouldn't it?
Some Canadian TV viewers missed Game 4 of Yankees-Indians series because the cable outlet, Rogers Sportsnet West showed an Edmonton-Detroit game. Games 2, 4, and 6 also face conflicts in certain parts of the country because of hockey obligations on Sportsnet, according to a Globe and Mail story. Most of these conflicts will be in Western Canada.
Game 3 of the ALCS won't be seen in Ontario because it conflicts with a Maple Leafs-Sabres game.
Digital cable subscribers won't be affected.
Past performances do not guarantee future results
Boston vs Cleveland
Included in this is the one-game playoff the Red Sox and Indians played in 1948 to decide the AL pennant.
Not included are the teams three meetings in the Division Series.
Cleveland swept the Red Sox in 3 games in 1995.
Cleveland beat the Red Sox in 4 games in 1998.
Boston beat Cleveland in 5 games in 1999.
Colorado vs Arizona
All four teams in the LCS have played their entire franchise history in the same city. The only other year when all four teams in the LCS were teams in their original cities was 1984 when the Tigers, Royals, Cubs, and Padres faced off. Unless you think the Angels have never switched cities.
Alan Cockrell wins the NL West hitting coach tontine
San Francisco Giants hitting coach Joe Lefebvre, along with first base coach Willie Upshaw, were let go by the team today.
Lefebvre's dismissal means that Alan Cockrell of Colorado was the only NL West hitting coach to not get fired this year. The Dodgers fired Eddie Murray and replaced him with
Cockrell's prize will either be the Hellfish Bonanza or a bottle of whiskey.
PL playoff series headed to deciding game
The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks tied up their first round playoff series in the Pacific League with an 8-3 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines in Chiba.
The Hawks got 3 RBI apiece from Nobuhiko Matsunaka (who also had a homer) and Naoyuki Omura as well as a solo homer from Brian Buchanan.
Game 3 will be Wednesday in Fukuoka. Yoshihisa Naruse will pitch for Chiba and Jason Standridge will pitch for the Hawks. The 3-game series is tied 1-1. The winner plays the first place Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in the second round starting Saturday in Sapporo. That will be a best of five series.
Day off digression
The Greatest Game Ever Played?
Get the coffee ready on the East Coast for the NLCS
With all the game times except for a potential Game 7 set, the NLCS will have four games starting at 8:30 pm ET (Games 1, 3, 5, and 6) and two starting at 10 pm ET (Game 2 and 4).
If you live on the East Coast and you doze off, just drop me a line, I'll promise to send you an email update with the final score.
The two late starts in the NLCS are for the only two days when both the ALCS and NLCS are being played. And instead of running them at the same time on two Fox outlets, the AL will start first on Fox and then three hours later the NL starts on TBS.
Because you know, Red Sox games always finish in less than three hours.
And there's at least four more games of this guy
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times is not happy at all with the work of Chip Caray on the TBS telecasts of the Division Series.
I know that Yankee fans may thought that Caray was pro-Cleveland or anti-New York, but I think that is a common feeling that comes up in these situations. Objectively, I would have to say that one thing is certain: Caray is really bad. It's as if the family's ability to broadcast baseball games has declined with each generation.
Japan's playoffs are underway
Game 1 of the first round of the Pacific League Climax Series (cut out that laughing!) got underway Monday in Japan. The third place Softbank Hawks lost to the second place Chiba Lotte Marines 8-4 at Chiba. It is a best of three series and the next game will be at Chiba. A third game, if necessary, will be in Fukuoka. The winner plays the first place Nippon Ham Fighters in a best of five series.
The Central League will not start its Climax Series (I told you to stop laughing!) until October 13, the same day the Pacific League will start its second round. The Central League is still finishing up its regular season, even though all of its playoff spots are set. The Yomiuri Giants won the regular season with the Chunichi Dragons second and the Hanshin Tigers third.
It was 99 years ago ...
The final game of the 1908 season essentially served as a one-game playoff for the NL pennant. The Chicago Cubs played at the Polo Grounds against the New York Giants. The game was a replay of a September 23, 1908 1-1 tie between the two teams.
Will someone have to vote this creature a playoff share? (Corrected, I hope)
And now, that I have the wrong bug according to Cliff, it looks like this may be the culprit.
This photo is from the Sandusky Register.
For a guy with a bit of a bug phobia, this may be the end of my searching.
Also from Paul Hoynes in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer on August 26, 1991:
Hideo Nomo plans yet another comeback
After having elbow surgery last June, Hideo Nomo, out of the majors since the middle of 2005, will it give it another go in the Venezuelan Winter League. Nomo says he will pitch for the Caracas Lions.
Tadahito Iguchi of the Phillies says he wants to stay in the U.S. (he's a free agent once the World Series is over) and is applying for a green card.
Long, but not long enough and short, but not short enough
The Angels-Red Sox playoff game lasted 4 hours and 5 minutes, but missed the record for the longest postseason game of nine innings, which is still 4 hours and 13 minutes by the Phillies and Blue Jays in Game 4 of the 1993 World Series and also by the Yankees and Athletics in Game 4 of the 2001 ALDS.
The shortest postseason game ever was Game 6 of the 1908 World Series which lasted just 1:25. Game time temperatures in Detroit that day were around 30.
Don Nottebart, 1936-2007
Link via BTF.
Tracy, Duquette unsurprisingly out of work
The Pittsburgh Pirates dismissed Jim Tracy after two years on the job.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington talked about it in ways that would make even Tracy seem comfortable:
Or in other words, the Pirates wanted a better manager.
And Jim Duquette, architect of the Orioles juggernaut, has resigned as team VP.
Today's bits of postseason partly useful information
The Colorado Rockies have now hit at least one home run in all six of their postseason games. That is two short of the record for the longest stretch with a home run to start a franchise's postseason play. The Seattle Mariners hit home runs in eight straight games in 1995.
The Mariners hit home runs in all five games of their epic ALDS against the Yankees and then in the first three games against Cleveland in the ALCS. The Mariners were shut out in Game 4 of the ALCS, 7-0 by four Cleveland pitchers.
The Houston Astros have the longest streak in postseason play with a home run at 13. That streak started in Game 3 of the 2001 NLDS against Atlanta, then all five games of the 2004 NLDS against the Braves, and then all seven games of the 2004 NLCS against St. Louis. The Astros failed to homer in Game 1 of the 2005 NLDS against Atlanta despite scoring 10 runs.
The Yankees longest stretch in the postseason with a homer is just nine games, which they've done three separate times, the last time in 2004.
Manny Corpas picked up a save for the Rockies in Game 1. The only other save recorded by a Colorado pitcher was Mark Thompson in 1995. He never had a save in the regular season.
Although Geovany Soto had just 80 at bats in the major leagues (54 this season) before seeing action in the postseason (obviously, I'm not looking at AL pitchers from the DH era), he will not break the record of another Cubs catcher, Clyde McCullough, who played in the 1945 World Series despite not seeing any action during the regular season. Federal labor laws required all returning veterans to retain their jobs, so the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and Tigers was played with no roster limits. McCullough made the 1948 All-Star team. He batted .209 that year with 1 home run and 7 RBI.
Frank Demaree, the last Cub rookie to homer in the postseason before Soto did tonight, had just 56 at bats in the 1932 regular season and had played in the field for just 17 games.
Postseason winning streaks by one team against another
Jocketty out as Cardinals GM
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that general manager Walt Jocketty and the Cardinals have had a "parting of the ways." Jocketty apparently was eased out in a front office power struggle that is too complicated to explain using a BlackBerry keyboard.
October 25, 1911 revisited
From the New York Times of October 26, 1911 (it's in the public domain now)!
SAYS WINNING RUN WASN'T REALLY MADE
Umpire Klem Declares That Doyle Failed To Touch the Plate When He Slid Home
Athletics Made No Protest in the Excitement, and so the Tally Was Counted
The run credited to Capt. "Larry" Doyle in the tenth inning at yesterday's game at the Polo Grounds, which gave the Giants their second victory over the Philadelphia Athletics in the world's series, was not properly scored, according to a statement made after the game by Umpire William J. Klem of the National League, who was officiating behind the plate as Umpire in Chief.
Doyle did not touch the plate, according to Klem, and if the Athletics had made an appeal the umpire said he would have declared Doyle out and the inning would have ended in a tie score. As it was getting dark the game could not have gone much farther.
Umpire Klem's declaration that Doyle did not touch the plate was corroborated by Francis E. Richter of Philadelphia and J.G. Taylor Spink of St. Louis, official scorers appointed by the Baseball National Commission. Manager McGraw of the New Yorks admitted after the game, according to Mr. Klem, that Doyle missed the plate.
Despite the fact that the umpire in chief and the two official scorers declare that Doyle did not touch the plate to make the run legal, no protest can be lodged with the commission as to the result of the game, it is said, because the Philadelphia Club made no appeal on the play.
Playoff miscellany and 2007 regular season random thoughts
Personal postseason droughts
With Jeff Cirillo (1617 games) making it to the postseason this year, the new leader among active players for most games appeared in without playing in the postseason is Damion Easley (1593 games). Todd Helton got to 1578 games, but will make it to the postseason.
San Diego sleeps with the fishes
The San Diego Padres were the 22nd team to be eliminated from postseason contention after losing the tiebreaker game to the Colorado Rockies, 9-8 in 13 innings.
Congratulations to ToyCannon who won the Griddle Contest to pick the Final Five teams to be eliminated. He won the contest with 10 points. Several other entries had 9 points.
Colorado crosses the great divide into the postseason
The Colorado Rockies are making their first appearance in the postseason since 1995 after beating the San Diego Padres, 9-8 in 13 innings.
The Rockies will take on the Phillies in the NLDS.
Tales from the Scorebook (Collapse Edition)
It was on August 5, 1995 that I ventured down to Anaheim Stadium to go watch the then California Angels host the Texas Rangers. The Angels had an 11-game lead over second place Texas at the time and the Mariners were 12 games back. The Angels at the time were the only team in the division with a winning record.
For the life of me, I can't remember attending this game. But I have it down in my scorebook, so I must have been there. (No, I don't keep score at home.) My memories come from the scorebook as the details of this game have been lost in the midsts of time. I don't know if I went to the game with a friend or just took a drive to Anaheim. Remembering something from 12 years ago isn't usually this hard for me.
State Department announces new job for idle Mets mascot
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
About the Toaster
Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
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